What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterised by widespread pain and fatigue. Symptoms include pain, weakness, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disorders, and hypersensitivity to light, sound, touch, smell and taste. In short, it invades every aspect of your life. All of your nerve functions are overactive and sometimes give the wrong messages. Post exertional malaise is common.

The cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown. It is postulated by some that it is caused by a virus (eg Epstein Barr, Varicella) or trauma – physical or mental. Some people struggle for years before getting a diagnosis. Diagnosis is difficult and involves ruling out a lot of other conditions. At the moment there is no one test for Fibromyalgia.

Treatment options are limited. There is no cure and no one treatment that works for all sufferers of Fibromyalgia. Most treatment options involve treating the symptoms, and then sometimes, treating the side effects caused by the medications! I have had limited success with conventional medications, often the side effects were as bad or worse than the symptom they were treating.

Research is ongoing – and for this I am immensely grateful. Maybe one day, both a cause and a cure will be found. In the meantime, I will keep trying to find ways to manage my illness and improve my quality of life.